I removed the carpet and discovered particle board. In the photo, I have removed a piece of the particle board. I plan on installing the ¾ inch hardwood on the subfloor. You can see the hardwood just stick above the baseboard by ¼ inch. How should I do the job?

Butt against the baseboard and install quarterround.

Or get a cutter that cuts that ¼ inch so the hardwood goes underneath, then add quarterround.

enter image description hereOr pull the baseboard.

  • 1
    Think it would easier to mark and remove baseboard, than to try hacking floor to butt against or fit under. Most floors require free space at edges for expansion(covered by baseboard).
    – crip659
    Jul 31, 2021 at 16:16
  • 2
    I doubt there's a technically correct answer to this. If this were my house I'd almost certainly remove the baseboard because I don't like the look of quarter-round in that application. If this were a house I'm flipping on a tight budget then quarter-round all the way.
    – brhans
    Jul 31, 2021 at 16:18
  • @brhans - to your point - I get it. First quarter round is terrible and should never be used as shoe moulding. Second... There is no way in hell that buying quarter round, making 30 precise cuts, installing it, and so forth takes less time then pulling baseboards that already fit and reinstalling them. The only thing that takes time is actually snipping the nails off the baseboards. And this is free ($3 in nails) and the quarter round for a floor is $150ish. Technically you should always remove the baseboards.
    – DMoore
    Oct 5, 2021 at 17:28

2 Answers 2


You pull the baseboards.

First you would need a substantial expansion gap (1/4" minimum and varies on room size and wood). In your picture there is no gap. If you left the baseboards you would for sure have to attach quarter round to the baseboards. And that receives a heavy "Booooo!" Why would you buy that nice flooring and then use quarter round?

The proper install method of hardwood flooring it to score the bottom of your drywall 1/4" higher than hardwood top. The hardwood slides right under drywall, just under the lip. Meaning it has ~1/2" expansion around perimeter.

Then the baseboard just gets gently sat on hardwood (you can give it a 1/32" gap) and popped into place with finishing nails.

This is the wrong way

enter image description here

This is the right way

enter image description here


The proper method is to remove the base board then when your spacing is not exact the base boards will cover the edge.

The edges being covered will produce a professional look as the boards actually shrink and expand with the changes in humidity. Trying to have a perfect cut at each end just won’t work throughout the year.

For best results pull the base boards and lay the hardwood with a target length just short of the wall for expansion.

Make sure the new wood has had some time to adjust to your climate prior to installation, aprox 2 weeks is usually enough for well cured wood flooring.

  • Another great answer, Ed. Adding that acclimation is really important, I'd say 2 weeks is a minimum 4 weeks would be better. + Aug 1, 2021 at 5:06

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